Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Accused 9/11 mastermind wants death, claims torture
Five accused terror suspects, including accused 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Muhammad (who also murdered WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl) began their, well I don't think you can call it a trial ... today in Gitmo. Bloomberg sez:
elf-proclaimed al-Qaeda commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, he would welcome the martyrdom of execution for masterminding the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people.

``This is what I wish,'' Mohammed, speaking in English, told a judge who warned that he might be executed if convicted. ``I am looking to be martyred for a long time.'' Mohammed said he was rejecting legal representation and will defend himself. ``Nothing shall befall us, save for what Allah has ordained for us.''

Mohammed, 43, identified in the 9/11 Commission report as the ``principal architect'' of the strikes, is accused of murder with four co-defendants who also appeared in court. The charges carry the death penalty. Mohammed said he and his co-defendants were tortured following their capture by U.S. forces and now face a proceeding that ``is inquisition, it is not trial.''

``After torturing, they transferred us to inquisitionland in Guantanamo,'' said Mohammed. ``We don't have a right to anything.''

The five defendants are charged with conspiring to finance, train and direct the 19 hijackers who seized four airliners used in the attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon outside Washington. They are charged in the deaths of 2,973 people killed in the attacks and the crash of one airliner in Pennsylvania.

Translated to Arabic

The men spoke to each other and laughed as they pointed to reporters seated in a glassed-in spectators' gallery. ``It seemed to be a reunion'' of the suspects, Navy Commander Suzanne Lachelier, who represents Ramzi Binalshibh, 36, told reporters during a break.

Lachelier said it was her ``impression'' that Mohammed was orchestrating his co-defendants to refuse counsel. Binalshibh was the only defendant to sit in court with his legs shackled to a bolt in the courtroom floor, a restraint Lachelier said is ``protocol'' for a detainee who is medicated. A court order forbids disclosure of the drug or why he is taking it, she said.

Trial judge Marine Colonel Ralph Kohlmann repeatedly warned civilian defense lawyers to be seated and admonished them for being argumentative.

``Don't ever interrupt me,'' he told one defense lawyer, Thomas A. Durkin, who also represents Binalshibh. ``You are way off point.''


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posted by JReid @ 4:27 PM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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